Sunday, January 07, 2007

Kangiqsujuaq Geography

Hello Everyone,
Well, we've been here for a month now and as of yet haven't discussed the community to any degree, so that is what I'll endeavor to describe today.
First, the community is supposed to contain about 350 souls (more likely nearing 500). Which is about half the size of Repulse Bay which was half again of Baker Lake. The community is located on the northern shores of Quebec, in the region of Nunavik. Geographically, it is about 10 km inland of the Hudson Strait at the head of Wakeham bay where the Payne River joins Wakeham Bay. We are approx 500 km north of the treeline at this point. The Area has been a trading post since 1884 when the Hudson's bay established a trading post and meteorological station. In 1928 the Hudson's bay company created a experimental fox farm in the area to breed cultured foxes for market. In 1963 a Catholic mission was established which is probably the best date for a permanent settlement to be established
The Geography of the area is "mountainous", that being the town is located around 50 feet above sea level, the airport is located at 511 feet and I would guess that the highest of the surrounding mountains is around 1,100 feet. While these heights don't reflect true mountains, the visual appearance of the area is of a village in a high mountain village. The combination of constant rocky outcroppings and rocky hills leads to a stunning visual presentation. The rock in the area is granite, quartz and (for the first time we've seen it "in the wild") soapstone. Our backyard is comprised of tonnes of soapstone, which leads Melissa to believe she's going to try her hand at carving. Once again there isn't any dirt or soil to speak of, just deposits between rocks in which plants bed into.
The geography leads to the idea that the land is nowhere near as accessible as it was to the locals in Repulse or Baker. It has the appearance of a very unforgiving landscape, with steep jagged cliffs and dead end valleys at every turn. Your line of sight is also impeded by the rugged landscape leading to the further idea that travels on the land must be made with great skill or great preparation.

No comments: